Case Study: Depression and Bipolar Disorder

A 26-year-old graduate student at a rigorous university, Christina was having trouble keeping up with her studies due to a lack of interest, fatigue and feelings of hopelessness – signs of depression and bipolar disorder. Referred by her psychiatrist, she came to the TMS Center of Colorado for an evaluation, desperately hoping for some relief.

Christina had already tried numerous prescription drugs to deal with depression and bipolar disorder, including the prescription drugs Klonopin, Wellbutrin and Vyvanse, along with a three-month course of psychotherapy.

As part of her evaluation, Christina was tested for depression and anxiety. Her Beck Depression Inventory-II® (BDI) score was 34, which is categorized as severe depression. On the Patient Health Questionnaire-9® (PHQ-9) for depression, she scored 16, which is categorized as moderately severe depression. Christina’s Beck Anxiety Inventory® (BAI) score was a 19, which is just below the cutoff for moderate anxiety. Based on her treatment history and test scores, Christina was recommended for a six-week course of treatment with Brainsway® deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS) that was carried out at the TMS Center of Colorado.

Christina received a total of 30 dTMS treatments over seven weeks. After less than two weeks of treatment, her depression and anxiety assessment scores dropped significantly, and she reported feeling “awesome” and waking up without a feeling of “dread.” Within five weeks of starting treatment, Christina’s depression scores indicated a remission of depression, and her anxiety assessment score had dropped to a 3, which is considered negligible. By the end of treatment, her depression scores indicated full remission, and her anxiety levels were greatly decreased.

During the second half of her treatment, Christina often talked about her lack of depression, how productive she had become and how great she was feeling. In her sixth week of treatment, she reported the difference in her mood was like “night and day.” In her final session she reported, “The treatment has made such a difference in my life. [There are] no side effects from medication, and I feel beyond happy.”

Christina is continuing her studies and during treatment was able to secure an internship in her field of study.

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